Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, has given reason the police will continue to prosecute criminal matters in the state magistrate’s courts.
According to Onigbanjo, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), there is no provision of any law in the state barring the police from prosecution of criminal matters in magistrates’ courts.
The commissioner made this known in statement issued on his behalf by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs Ministry of Justice, Mr. Kayode Oyekanmi.
The position of the commissioner was sequel to the current clamour by the non-governmental organisations and stakeholders to stop the police from prosecution of criminal matters in magistrates’ courts in accordance to Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) provisions.
“The ministry wishes to clearly state that the ACJA does not apply to Lagos State. Furthermore, there is no provision of any law barring the police from prosecution of criminal matters in magistrates’ courts in Lagos State.
“As such, the provision of the law in Lagos State as it stands does not bar the police from the prosecution of matters in magistrates’ courts.
“However, the ministry of justice is always willing to investigate any issue that would improve administration of justice in the state.
“As a result, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, had directed the setting up of a committee to look into the matter and advice accordingly.
“The committee members are as follows: Arthur Worrey, Chairman; T. K Shitta-Bey (Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Justice); Y. G Oshoala (Directorate of Public Prosecution); Lawson Coker, Bayo Akinlade, Rukayat Owolabi and Arinola Ayokanmbi.”
“More importantly, the ministry is currently in the process of reviewing the state laws relating to the administration of criminal justice.
“The ministry, hereby, assures members of the public that they would be informed on the outcome of the committee’s report,” the statement read.